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Published: 12th January 2021

Harrogate & Ripon Food Angels send out urgent plea for volunteers

National lockdown measures mean less volunteers and more demand for the service

Harrogate & Ripon Foods Angels, a vital hot meal delivery service set up by not-for-profit organisation, Harrogate Neighbours is calling out for local people and businesses to volunteer their time to deliver vital meals into the community during the current lockdown.

Over 120 meals are prepared and packed by staff daily and then are ready for delivery to the the most vulnerable people living in Harrogate and Ripon by a team of dedicated volunteers. Since the latest lockdown was announced, the demand for the service has increased, but unfortunately the number of volunteers has decreased due to some people having to now shield or living with someone who is shielding.

Individuals who can volunteer will continue to do so, alongside local businesses, including the team behind Slingsby Premium Gin which supports the service by sending two of its employees to volunteer with the Harrogate & Ripon Food Angels every Thursday.

The vital service is a lifeline for so many people in need of a nutritious, home-cooked meal, but in addition, the social exchange when the meals are delivered between the client and the volunteer helps to tackle social isolation in these particularly difficult times.

Speaking on behalf of Harrogate Neighbours, Sue Cawthray, CEO said, “New shielding guidelines have forced regular and willing volunteers to take a step down, which has left a big gap in the number of people we need to deliver the meals each day. We are asking those individuals or local businesses who can spare some time to please do so, so that we can continue to provide the much-needed service into the community. We anticipate the demand for meals to grow over the next few weeks and months, so any help we can get in the form of volunteers would be greatly appreciated,”

“My colleagues and I are absolutely delighted to support the fabulous work that the whole team at H&RFA does every week. Now, more than ever, help is crucial to continue to provide these vital services to some of our community’s most vulnerable residents. As well as providing us with a brief opportunity to interact with some of those lovely people, but at a time of such a strict lockdown, it also gives us a real sense of purpose which is incredibly important for our own mental health and wellbeing” says Marcus Black, Co-founder of Slingsby Gin.

All volunteers will follow strict government guidelines and protocol, this includes wearing full PPE to protect themselves and others around them throughout the week.

To volunteer to deliver meals in the community, or to help support Harrogate Neighbours through donating, fundraising, sponsoring an event or to join the team please visit or call 01423 888777.

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